IRTA founder Mike Trimby awarded Torrens Trophy

The founder of IRTA, Mike Trimby, has been announced to have been awarded the Torrens Trophy for 2023 by the Royal Automobile Club.

Ben Cussons and Barrie Baxter present Mike Trimby with the Torrens Trophy

The RAC may be better associated with car racing, and particularly the rally named after it (the RAC Rally, which became Rally GB in 1997), but the Torrens Trophy is an award dedicated to the celebration of motorcycling (with which the RAC has a long history thanks to its forming of the Auto Cycle Club - now Auto Cycle Union since 1947 - in 1903) and motorcycling achievements, and is one of the Club’s most prestigious.

In previous years, the Torrens Trophy has been awarded to the likes of 2013 WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes (2013), Isle of Man TT winners Ian Hutchinson (2015) and Peter Hickman (2019), and seven-time Women’s Trial World Champion Emma Bristow (2020). 

For 2023, the RAC chose to award the Torrens Trophy to Mike Trimby, who began representing Grand Prix riders in 1982, as they sought better pay and improvements to safety. It was thanks to Trimby’s work that race tracks which hosted motorcycle Grands Prix removed features such as catch fences and armco barriers.

In 1986, Trimby formed the International Road Racing Teams’ Association (IRTA), which continues today to represent race teams during the decision making processes of MotoGP

“I am surprised but honoured to receive this award,” said Trimby. “My achievements were made possible only by the initial support from the leading Grand Prix riders and subsequently the unity of the teams within IRTA, but none of this would have been possible without the partnership with Dorna, which started in 1992. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and his staff are equally passionate about rider safety.

“I also want to share this award with my wife Irene, who has worked with me at Grands Prix since 1982. Whatever achievements I am credited with would not have been possible without her support.”

“Mike is a key pillar in our sport and a very deserving recipient of this award,” said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. “He has been part of Grand Prix motorcycle racing for decades and in our time working together, I have seen the dedication he’s given to the paddock, which has made the sport better and safer than ever. 

“I’m very happy to see his achievements recognised by the Royal Automobile Club and proud to continue working together to keep making MotoGP the best it possibly can be, for everyone – on track, in the paddock and for our millions of fans.”

The peak of Freddie Spencer’s iconic Grand Prix career - during which he won three world titles, including the 250cc and 500cc titles in the same year (1985) - came during the beginning of Mike Trimby’s time as the riders’ and teams’ representative in GP racing. Spencer was one of many racers to offer his congratulations to Trimby on his reception of the Torrens Trophy.

“It is truly great news about the well-deserved recognition the Royal Automobile Club is giving to Mike Trimby for all he has contributed to our great sport,” said Spencer. “I started working with Mike 40 years ago and today, as Chairman of the MotoGP Steward Panel as the IRTA representative, it’s a privilege to work alongside him in our mutual goal of providing riders and teams the opportunity to give the fans the safest, most exciting and enjoyable show in motorsport.”

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha, also offered his congratulations. “This is a much-deserved reward for Mike’s enormous contribution as the CEO of IRTA,” said Jarvis. “Mike and IRTA have done a great deal towards the safety of the riders, the organisation of the paddock and putting in place a real structure behind the scenes of the MotoGP world. It’s the real backbone of the Championship.”

The Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee consists of:

  • Barrie Baxter - Chairman and ex-bike racer
  • Ben Cussons - Royal Automobile Club Chairman
  • James Toseland - World Superbike Champion and 2008 Torrens Trophy winner
  • Mat Oxley - Motorcycle journalist and IOMTT race winner
  • Steve Parrish - Former Grand Prix rider
  • Robert Bourne - RAC member and son of motorcycle journalist Arthur Bourne, in whose memory the Trophy is awarded
  • Maria Costello MBE - previous record holder for the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.

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